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Govt confident in combating HIV /AIDS

Govt confident in combating HIV /AIDS

THE government on Wednesday said that it has taken a number of initiatives to fight HIV/ AIDS, including behavioral change campaigns.

The Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office – Policy, Parliament, Labour, Youth, Employment and Persons with Disability, Ms Jenista Mhagama made the remark in Mbeya yesterday during the climax of the World Aids Day that was graced by the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

She said that the Tanzania Commission for Aids (TACAIDS) in collaboration with other stakeholders have been investing a lot in creative campaigns for behavior change, to fight and identify risk indicators of HIV transmissions, basing on age and gender.

“These involve a campaign for provision of an online education to young people in higher learning institutions, in which three universities have already been reached so far and the education will extend to all colleges and universities country-wide,” she said.

According to her, the available data shows that 40 percent of new infections are young people, with girls contributing 80 percent.

The minister said that there are several interventions to fight the new infections, with priority given to special groups, such as adolescent girls, young women on risk to contract the disease and prisoners as well as fishermen and workers in mining sites.

Ms Mhagama also mentioned some regions which infection rate is on the rise as Geita (five percent), Simiyu and Manyara (2.3), Mwanza (7.2), Kagera (6.5), Singida (3.6), Mbeya (9.3), Iringa (11.3) and Morogoro 4.2 percent.

Chairperson for National Council of People Living with HIV (NACOPHA), Ms Leticia Moris, expressed her gratitude to the government and stakeholders for increasing the availability of full antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) almost in all health centers, a move that has improved the health of HIV/ AIDS patients.

 However, she said that stigmatization to HIV/AIDS patients is still in the society, calling up more efforts to fight the situation.

TACAIDS Director, Dr Leonard Maboko also expressed his gratitude, especially to those who have been contributing to Aids Trust Fund, affirming that over 150m/- (cash and pledges) have been made available within a week of AIDS World Day commemorations that kicked off on November 24 this year.

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Author: ABELA MSIKULA

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